The East African Community is made up of seven countries. They are all in a region in Africa referred to as the Great Lakes Region. They include Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and The Democratic Republic of the Congo. The capital for the organization is currently located in Tanzania.
The EAC is an intergovernmental organization aimed at unifying trade, designing a common market, and developing monetary union to improve the economy across the area. It is also aimed at unifying some aspects of governing, like security and foreign policy. It began in 1967, fell apart 10 years later, and was revived again in 2000. There is a common legislative assembly and a common court for the community, though these are not the ultimate or the only arms of the law in any participating countries.
The countries involved in the EAC benefit, first, from having a stronger economy together than any single one of them has separately.
The treaty has allowed them to divide some labor tasks differently than they otherwise would. Processing imports happen in the areas closer to the coasts.
Inland areas can then focus on their natural resources and the production that occurs based on what those resources are. In addition, banks based in the more economically strong countries are investing more and more in their treaty neighbors. They are also integrating with banks in those countries.
This makes tourism easier and facilitates even more trade. Working together makes the area stronger. The EAC is focused on reducing poverty in its member countries. Allowing for more trade and ensuring that everyone has access to trade has helped them work toward this goal.
The EAC makes travel among member countries easier for people who are residents of the area. It does not affect travel for people from other areas or other countries. There is a single tourist visa that people from outside the area can get that includes Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. The other countries have not signed off on this yet. Getting this visa makes it easier for people from outside the area who want to focus their travel on those countries, since they only have to apply for one and not for three separate visas.
East Africans from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda do not need a visa to visit other member countries. Some of the countries issue an East African Passport to make travel between member nations easier. Otherwise, people can also use their regular passport to travel. National ID cards and Certificates of Identity can also be used at most border crossings between countries in the agreement. The rules about crossing borders are subject to change, as well as which countries permit and qualify for visa-free crossings.
Travelers will need to make sure they have accurate expectations before they travel.
The African Union is made of all the countries in Africa, minus whichever countries are suspended at any given time. At the time of this writing, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Guinea, and Mali are suspended. This can, however, change at any time. Countries usually face suspension after a military coup deposes the ruler and can be reinstated when democratic processes are restored.
The AU is aimed at improving the lives of African citizens by keeping peace, being proponents of practices that bring and keep prosperity, protecting human rights, and more. They want to make sure that member nations have and can maintain sovereignty, have their independence protected, and learn to work together in a wide variety of areas. The AU is also aimed at keeping colonialism, in every form, out of Africa and as far away as possible.
This last part comes from Africa’s history. For centuries, Africa existed as a continent of colonies. African countries were not helped by colonization. Instead, they were taken advantage of economically, politically, and in other ways. The African Union is one way that African leaders show their commitment to independence in Africa, as well as cooperation between countries. It also shows their commitment to the integration of Western ways of thinking, technology, and medicine in ways that are true to African culture and ways of being.
Countries benefit in a number of ways when they are part of the AU. Instead of facing problems alone, they face them with the rest of Africa and work towards solutions that benefit all. Countries have some amount of protection as members of the AU. While the AU cannot stop coups from occurring, the fact that a country can lose membership after one may deter some attempts.
Because the AU wants to see democratic processes in all of its member countries, the people in the countries can benefit because these processes allow them a say in their government. Countries can also benefit from membership in the AU because the AU is a stabilizing force in Africa, and stability allows for more economic growth and opportunity.
When people aren’t worried about political problems or uprisings, they can focus on building businesses that will withstand the test of time.
Currently, the AU does not have a large effect on travel. A few countries are open to other African citizens without the need to get a visa, but this is not based on AU membership. However, the AU is working towards the goal of providing all African citizens with an African Passport.
This would be a biometric-based passport that would allow all holders free access to all of the countries in good standing with the AU. The passports have been delayed because of COVID-19 and because different African countries have different levels of technology available. Some cannot issue biometric passports, while others would not be able to read or use them effectively. In addition, some countries are not ready or willing to open their borders to all of their neighbors, even if they are willing to participate in the AU with them.
Note that, even when these are issued throughout the AU, they will not affect travel for people who are not citizens of member countries.
They will still need to get the proper permission to travel before they visit African countries.
Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil are the countries involved in the Mercosur Agreement. Venezuela has been a member, but is currently under suspension.
Other countries that are associated with the Mercosur Agreement are Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Suriname. They are not full members but get some benefits.
The Mercosur Agreement created a South American trade bloc. The goal was to develop a common market and common trade laws.
They also have a joint parliamentary committee that regulates trade and trade laws among association countries and they hold international jurisdiction over contracts in the area. Mercosur holds among its highest goals the creation of investment opportunities and business opportunities through more and better trade.
They want to make each country, as well as the group as a whole, competitive when it comes to trading on an international scale.
Countries benefit from the Mercosur Agreement because it opens up trading opportunities for them. It allows them easier trade with other Mercosur countries.
It also opens up international trading opportunities with other countries, too, because Mercosur works to negotiate contracts and agreements on behalf of all of its member countries. This has increased wealth and business opportunities across the Mercosur nations. Mercosur also works to both safely utilize and protect the vast natural resources in the member countries. They want countries to benefit from their resources without losing them.
The Mercosur Agreement does not directly affect travel, either for nationals of the member nations or for others who want to visit the area.
Indirectly, it has likely made the Mercosur nations wealthier, which may attract more tourists and allow nationals to offer more tours, activities, and other similar things. It may also make travel more expensive there, as it allows for more competition and free trade among nations and brings wealth into the countries.
Canada, the United States, and Mexico are the only countries involved in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The agreement is called the Canada-United States-Mexico agreement, or the CUSMA, in Canada and may be referred to by that name in some places online.
The USMCA is a free trade agreement between the countries that make up North America. It replaces NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Association. The USMCA modernized parts of NAFTA, such as digital or online trade and intellectual property laws. It also increased laws surrounding protecting the environment, as well as including more regulations about how work is done, who can work where, and more. There are a few special provisions in the USMCA, such as incentives for the US auto market, more access to Canada’s dairy market, and changes in the duty-free limits travelers face.
Signatory countries reap many of the same benefits from the USMCA that they got from NAFTA. These include more trade between the countries and an easier flow of trade. Modernizing the agreement allows it to continue to be effective and relevant into the 21st century and beyond.
It takes into account new ways that people are making money and is aimed at making these types of trade easier, too, while imposing regulations that protect people, too. All of the signatory countries stand to gain economically from the agreement. This is good for each individual country and good for North America as a whole.
It makes it easier for them to trade with each other and to negotiate trade agreements as a group with other countries.
The USMCA does not affect travel, since it is an agreement focused on trade. In a few very specific instances, it may make border crossings easier for people who are transporting goods between countries, but this is not necessarily true. Overall, the USMCA may make all of these countries better places to visit because they will be wealthier, so there may be more to see and experience there.
The Central American Free Trade Agreement includes the United States, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. It was originally known as CAFTA-DR, before the Dominican Republic was added to the agreement. It may still be referred to that way by some people and in some locations.
CAFTA-DR is a free trade agreement designed to give the United States more market access in Central America and the Dominican Republic.
In turn, it is designed to promote economic growth in those countries by giving US companies incentives to invest there and by offering more trade and market opportunities in the USA. It promotes trade by lowering or eliminating barriers like tariffs, laws that are unnecessary or that provide usually high hurdles for trade and traders, and opening up more opportunities.
CAFTA-DR also protects international property rights and it asks signatory countries for a certain level of transparency when it comes to trade and some laws. CAFTA-DR does require countries that are members to criminalize things like bribery. This helps keep the markets honest and open for everyone who wants to participate.
Different countries benefit from CAFTA-DR in different ways. The United States benefits because it becomes easier for it to export goods to member countries. These become a bigger part of its market, helping it grow economically. It also provides US investors with incentives and the chance to invest in member countries, as well as making it easier for goods to flow into the US from these places, too.
These things, in turn, help the other member countries to grow economically, too. They have more capital to start businesses and produce goods.
They also have a bigger market for those goods, since they can now send them to the US for sale.
As a free trade agreement, CAFTA-DR does not directly affect travel or tourism. However, it has caused tourism to Central America from the US to grow.
There are a number of reasons why this occurs. First, when these countries are doing better financially, they can create the kind of environment that American tourists want. They can build hotels, create experiences, and more.
Also, when more Americans are investing in Central America, it is on their radar and they begin to think of it when they think of destinations they want to visit. CAFTA-DR has also helped some countries become less reliant on tourism. Because there are more economic opportunities, there are good ways to make money outside of that realm.
This is not necessarily bad for tourism, because it means that people who focus on tourism truly want to do that and want to craft an experience for the travelers who come to their country.
The Gulf Cooperation Council includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Together, these countries are often referred to as the "Gulf" countries because they are all on or near the Persian Gulf.
Begun in 1981, the GCC aims to add stability to the Gulf area by making trade easier between the countries, and creating a common market and a common currency for them to use. They also hoped to facilitate scientific development and technical progress by setting up common research centers. They also plan to share resources and advances in agriculture, water, mining, industry, and more. The GCC also gives member countries the chance to participate in joint ventures that they might not be willing or able to tackle alone. They also set up the Peninsula Shield Force, a common and united military for defense of the region.
Finally, the council wants to strengthen ties on all levels between the peoples of the member countries. They want to do this by setting up similar rules and customs around everything from trade and tourism to religion, finance, and more.
Countries benefit by being part of the Gulf Coalition Council because it makes trade easier.
Instead of negotiating individual trade benefits with every country in the region that they want to trade with, they only need to be part of a single agreement.
If they achieve it, having a single currency will help smaller countries or those with weaker economies to improve their standing, economy, and financial power.
The agreement has also led to efforts to make getting around the peninsula easier than before. These infrastructure improvements help each country involved and its inhabitants.
Travel between GCC countries does not require a visa for citizens of those countries. However, all other people still need to get the proper visa before they travel.
In addition, Qatar is no longer allowing citizens of either Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates to enter, after a disagreement in 2018.
Even people who do not need a visa will need a passport from a GCC country, and a residence permit in a GCC country that is good for at least 6 months.
Some member states will only permit people to enter whose GCC residence permit has been issued at least 3 months before their trip and is good for at least 6 months beyond.
Finally, a person’s job can determine whether they are issued a visa on arrival. Higher titles make travel easier.
Even though GCC rules may permit a person to enter, the country in question can still require them to get a traditional visa if they so choose.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations currently includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Established in 1967 by the first 5 countries listed above, it allowed the others to join later to add solidarity to the region.
The ASEAN is an intergovernmental organization focused on cooperation between nations when it comes to education, military, economic factors, politics, and security. It also aims to achieve more integration between member countries on a sociocultural level. Its first focus was and is on economic growth in the region. Through that, it wants to help develop culture and see social progress for all countries involved.
It also wants to add to security in the region. It aims to make the whole area more stable through asking member countries to ensure that rule of law prevails.
They aim to do all of this the ASEAN way, which means honoring the region’s cultural norms. It focuses on compromise and non-conflictual resolution styles and desires consensus in all.
Member countries benefit from the ASEAN in a number of ways.
First and foremost, most of them have undergone significant economic growth after becoming part of the agreement. This helps reduce poverty, preserve culture, and add stability. The ASEAN played a significant part in negotiating another agreement, called the RCEP, which has improved trade not only in the region but across Asia.
The ASEAN has done a lot to help member countries when it comes to education, developing their media, developing and promoting sports, and offering opportunities for musicians.
In addition, member countries know that conflicts and negotiations with the ASEAN will be achieved in ways that honor their cultural values.
They may not be able to use compromise and consensus with Western countries, but they can use it amongst themselves and feel heard, seen, and understood.
As economies in East Asia continue to grow, countries may see even greater benefits from being part of a larger bargaining block that will negotiate treaties, and more, on their behalf!
The 10 member countries of the ASEAN will begin issuing a common visa, called the ASEAN visa, later in 2022. This will allow foreigners to visit all 10 countries with a single visa application. Until that becomes available, though, travelers from outside the ASEAN region will need to get a separate visa for each ASEAN country they want to visit.
Citizens of ASEAN countries do not have to get a visa to visit other ASEAN countries if they are only staying short-term. All they need is a passport from their home country. That passport does need to be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of travel.
Some ASEAN countries only allow people from other ASEAN countries to stay for 14 days, while others permit stays of up to 30 days.
The ASEAN also has a visa-free policy with some other countries, allowing their citizens to enter with only a passport. This list is subject to change - travelers should research before they go.
India and Nepal share a border and have many cultural things in common. For these reasons, they have chosen to become partners in trade and in friendship. These are the only two countries involved in this agreement, though they are not the only two affected by it since the agreement changes some aspects of trade in the region.
This agreement was signed in 1950 and proclaimed a special relationship between India and Nepal.
It stipulates that the countries will come to each other’s defense if someone from outside attacks either of them, and that they will let each other know of friction with other countries.
This opened the border between the two countries, making it easier for citizens of both to pass from one country to the other. This easing of border restrictions has made trade between the two countries easier than ever before. They are major trading partners for each other. Tensions have arisen between the two countries. Both countries have vowed to change this treaty but nothing substantial has become of it and the treaty still stands today.
India is Nepal’s largest and most significant trading partner. Without India, Nepal would be much poorer because it would be harder for them to move and trade goods and services. India also provides transit for almost all of Nepal’s trade with countries beyond its borders. Thus, without India, Nepal would be unable to trade much at all.
Nepal is a significant buyer of Indian goods, as well, though not India’s largest trading partner. Still, India would be markedly poorer without its friendship with Nepal.
The open borders between the two countries make it easier for people to live and work in both countries. However, tensions sometimes close this border, making this less of a benefit. Both countries also help the other to feel more secure in the region. If outsiders are aggressive against either nation, the other is bound to help them defend themselves.
When the border between the two countries is open, citizens of both countries can cross it. They do not need visas, or even passports, to cross.
Additionally, they can live and work in either country. This opens up opportunities that may not have been there before.
Foreigners still need to get separate permissions to enter each country, and will need to travel with and show these, along with a passport, when they pass between the two nations.
The CIS was originally formed by Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus in 1991, after the fall of the USSR. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, , and Moldova later joined, though Georgia and Ukraine have since left the agreement.
The CIS works to coordinate member countries on a wide variety of levels, as well as to assure security in the region. Specifically, it wants member nations to have complementary or identical policies on everything from law enforcement to environmental protection. Areas like economics, defense, immigration, and foreign relations are also included here. In addition, member countries put their armed forces under a single command structure.
This military unification also includes any and all former Soviet nuclear weapons housed in the member countries.
Unifying the armies and control of nuclear weapons has proven difficult. The region has enough instability that countries do not want to give up control of their potential defense force. In addition, Russia has proven itself an aggressor in the area. It has instigated unprovoked attacks against both Georgia and Ukraine, resulting in those countries leaving the CIS.
Overall, the CIS has aimed at doing a lot more than it has actually achieved. In addition to the struggles surrounding the military, noted above, it has had other problems, too. Moving economies from the USSR’s socialist vision to one that involves private ownership of goods and free-market economies has been more difficult than planned.
Some countries have resisted this, while others have embraced it in theory but struggled with implementing these things in practice. Additionally, the CIS has been financial dependent on Russia. This has allowed Russia to implement policies that benefit it more than other countries. It has also mean that some CIS member countries look the other way when Russia is an aggressor, even when the aggression is against another CIS country.
Even with these difficulties, though, there are some benefits to belonging to the CIS. Member countries do get support from each other as they continue to work to transition their economies to a new model. They get election monitoring, so the CIS does its best to ensure that elections are fair and legitimate.
They also do have some common military structures and procedures, so member countries may be safer and more secure against outside forces than they would be on their own. There’s also a focus on human rights. This may be urging some of the member countries to implement better human rights policies.
However, while Russia made some initial improvement in this area, they have since gone backwards. Other countries have made marginal, if any, improvements in this area.
For most people, the CIS will not affect travel. Visitors still have to get permission from every country they want to visit.
For most CIS countries, visitors from other CIS countries have the option for visa-free entry. However, this is not always clear and may be subject to change based on the current political climate of both of the countries involved. Travelers need to make sure they know the rules that apply to them, based on their home country and the country they want to visit, before they travel.
That way, they can get the permission they need to enter the countries they want to visit before they leave home.
The Schengen Agreement includes almost all of Europe. Some countries that are not in the European Union are involved in this agreement. A few European Union countries have opted out of the Schengen Agreement, while others only participate on a de facto level.
The Schengen Agreement was designed to make travel between countries in Europe easier, for the purposes of both trade and tourism. Many European countries are so small that regular and repeated border crossings were making trade harder than it needed to be and discouraging some types of tourism. The agreement was designed to slowly change border crossings, eventually abolishing border checks between member countries. This includes allowing vehicles to cross borders without stopping, letting people who live near borders cross them on foot unimpeded, and making easy visa policies between countries. The Schengen Agreement was set up separately from the European Union, but has become a key part of that agreement, as well.
EU states that have not officially and formally opted out of the agreement are required to do so when they have met the Agreement’s requirements for doing so.
Countries benefit from the Schengen Agreement because it makes travel between nations easier for everyone involved. Trade is easier because trucks do not have to stop and submit to visa checks, searches, and more at every border. Instead, they can keep going and deliver their goods faster and easier. This makes trade cheaper, too. Since companies do not have to meet a wide variety of customs requirements, it is faster and easier to ship to countries in the Schengen Zone.
It makes for more tourism, too, because people only have to get one kind of travel permission to enter all Schengen countries.
It makes them more likely to visit multiple countries in a trip, rather than limiting themselves to a single country because they don’t want to bother with multiple visas or border crossings. This brings more tourism money to Europe as a whole, which is good for all the member countries.
As mentioned above, the Schengen Agreement makes travel easier. People usually only have to get travel permission once in order to enter all of the Schengen Agreement member states. This expedites the preparation process. It also makes travel less hectic and more enjoyable for all travelers, since they don’t have to organize as much paperwork when it comes to travel. Finally, it lowers expenses for travelers. They don’t have to pay to get visas to every country in Europe they want to visit, which can get expensive. It’s up to each traveler to make sure that the countries they want to visit are in the Schengen Zone and that they have the correct permission in place to enter the Zone.
The United Nations (UN) consists of 193 countries, with 2 permanent observers. Countries that have not been formally recognized are not part of the organization.
Other than that, every country in the world is part of the UN and can and is encouraged to participate in meetings and in the programs it offers.
The UN is an intergovernmental organization. They work to provide peace and security among nations and to help facilitate good relationships between countries. They work to resolve conflicts, resettle refugees, prevent wars, and more. They were founded after World War II to try and prevent conflicts like that in the future. The UN is the world’s largest intergovernmental organization and is one of the best known, if not the most recognizable across the globe.
At this point, the UN has its fingers in everything from international finance to feeding refugees to providing medical care around the world and more.
Some say that the UN is too large and has expanded its scope too much. However, in many places there is no one else available to do what the UN does.
Without this organization, many countries around the world would have a lower standard of living and there would be no one working to deal with refugees in an organized manner.
The UN stands up for human rights around the world and offers humanitarian assistance when and where it is needed. Many people would be worse off without it.
They also tackle some issues of justice around the world. They stand up countries that are unfairly invaded, work to coordinate some justice movements, and advocate for those unfairly imprisoned. Without the UN, there would be no unified stance or position on these issues.
Countries that are in the UN are formally recognized as countries. For some that are striving for statehood and independence, this is a benefit in and of itself. Being in the UN is supposed to indicate that a country stands for peace, that it is willing to work out its differences peacefully whenever possible, and more. However, reality shows that these commitments are not always true of UN countries. Some do not deserve the benefit of being seen in this light. Countries that are part of the UN are eligible to be defended by its peacekeeping forces and to receive humanitarian aid if that becomes necessary.
They are also subject to the benefits of international law and know that there will be investment in their social development and healthcare development. Other countries may reap the benefit of being able to help others. They can send aid in a variety of forms to help others around the world live better lives.
The UN does not directly affect who can travel to which countries, who needs a visa, and more. It doesn’t make border crossings any easier or stipulate who can and cannot travel. However, the UN affects travel indirectly. For instance, they helped the travel industry reopen safely after COVID-related shutdowns. They also offer advice to travelers, such as warnings when there is international conflict or advice about sustainable travel options. Since the UN also determines formally who is and is not a country, this may influence when and where border crossings are necessary, who needs a visa to travel, and more. However, the UN does not set these policies for any of the countries included in the agreement.
Including the ASEAN countries mentioned above as well as China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea, the RCEP is the largest free-trade agreement in the world. It is recent, too, taking effect on January 1, 2022. Thus, its long-term effects remain to be seen.
The RCEP is designed to make trade easier between member countries. Within 20 years of implementation, the goal is to remove at least 90% of the tariffs between these countries. It has other goals, as well, such as putting regulations in place that govern e-commerce in the same ways across member countries and regulating intellectual property in the region. Whether it can achieve these goals across the many cultural, linguistic, and other barriers that exist among its member countries remains to be seen.
So far, countries have not experienced significant benefits from being in the RCEP, since it has only recently been accepted and implemented.
However, the potential benefits are far-ranging. Over a long period of time, the partnership may serve to pull the economic center of the world away from the United States and the west and back towards Asia. It may also help the signatory countries recover faster and better from the COVID-19 pandemic. Since this devastated some economies in the area, this would be a boon for them. Countries may stand to make major economic gains from the partnership. How this works out remains to be seen, as these effects often accumulate over time.
The RCEP is currently a trade-only agreement. It does not yet affect customs or immigration. This means that it does not change travel, at least not at this point. Travel and customs agreements may come later, but are not in place now. As the RCEP gains more of a foothold in Asia, travel there may become more expensive, especially relatively and for westerners. If the partnership causes Asia to become the economic center of the world, western currencies may not go as far there. This means westerners will pay more to visit this part of the world.
Once again, though, this has not happened yet. Travelers should keep an eye on Asia and see what happens if they are planning trips there in the future.
They may also choose to travel sooner rather than later, to take advantage of cheaper travel now since it might not be available later on.
Consisting of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, the CPTPP also once included the United States.
However, Donald Trump withdrew the US from the agreement in 2016, with Japan as the leader instead of the US. It officially began in 2018.
The CPTPP is specifically a trade agreement. It is focused on making trade between the member countries easier and more straightforward. It makes it easier and cheaper for these countries to trade with each other, invest in each other, set up businesses in each other, and more. One of its main aims is to set high standards for trade and everything having to do with it in the region. This includes investment, labor rights, intellectual property, the environment, and more.
It not only wants to make trade easier and better, but to do so in ways that are honest, upright, and have integrity. It cares about workers and the planet as well as about making more money.
Member countries benefit from being in the CPTPP with easier trade and the potential for more foreign capital when it comes to starting, running, and generally investing in businesses. The exact potential of the CPTPP is not known yet, because it is such a new agreement and because many of the countries involved are also part of the new RCEP.
Time will tell how this treaty will affect business, commerce, international trade, and economic growth throughout the member countries. How Does the CPTPP Affect Travel? The CPTPP, being mainly a free-trade agreement for goods, does not affect travel. People who want to visit the member countries will need to make sure they have the proper permissions in place before they leave home. They do not need to worry about the CPTPP while they travel unless they are specifically traveling for business purposes. Over time, the CPTPP may increase travel among the signatory nations. However, this is speculation and has not happened yet.
Currently, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is made up of 13 countries.
These are Algeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Qatar, Ecuador, and Indonesia have been members of OPEC in the past but are not members at this time.
OPEC works to control the production, processing, and release of petroleum products by the countries where these natural resources lie and are harvested. They do this by trying to create uniform policies about these products in countries around the world. Their goal is to make sure everyone around the world has the oil products they need and that the countries producing them get a fair price for the product. OPEC has been accused of basically being a cartel, controlling oil for their own gain.
They are also accused of holding other countries hostage by withholding oil at certain points, or ruining economies by releasing too much.
OPEC responds to these accusations by saying that they are only trying to get a fair price for what they produce.
Because of these accusations, OPEC is controversial around the world. However, they have been in existence since 1960 so they appear to be here to stay.
Countries in OPEC make a lot more money from their oil than they might stand to make otherwise, if the oil market was simply run in a free-market manner.
They can use this money to boost their internal economic development and make many lives in their country better. Some of the countries in OPEC are accused of not using the money they make on oil to improve life for everyone in their country. The leaders of these countries or the owners of the oil reserves there may be keeping the money, rather than using it as a resource for everyone.
While increased income is good, some countries look down on nations that choose to join OPEC. Thus, a country may reap some benefits but lose others when they join this group.
OPEC does not affect travel directly, in that it does not open borders between nations or make it easier for people to enter countries as a group.
However, the price of petroleum products definitely affects travel. When these prices are higher, all forms of transportation cost more.
Airline prices soar, and even taking trains or driving costs more. Thus, OPEC indirectly affects the cost of travel because they functionally control the price of oil and gas.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization consists of the United States and Canada, as well as 28 European countries.
Several more are currently going through the process to become members. These are at various stages in the process but all are slated to become full members in time.
NATO is a military alliance designed to protect both the people and the borders of member countries. Begun in 1949, it was originally an alliance against the USSR.
Now, it largely serves as a deterrent to Russia. NATO guarantees that all member countries will respond to a military invasion of any one member country.
Russia cannot stand against all of NATO, so it is deterred from attacking any one country. At the time of this writing, this issue is noteworthy because Russia has proven that it will attack non-member countries, like Ukraine, before they can become members and join this alliance. NATO members work together on more than just deterrence, though. They share military intelligence, plan and coordinate nuclear production and defense strategies, and more.
NATO members conduct military exercises together, to show their collective strength and so they know how to work together when and if they ever need to.
The biggest benefit from being part of NATO is improved national security. Member nations know that an attack against one country is an attack against all, so they will never have to stand alone when they face an outside threat. This is a particular benefit for countries that are worried about invasion from Russia. While Russia has a lot of military power, they could not stand against all of NATO united against them.
At the time of this writing, Sweden and Finland are trying to join NATO for this reason. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, they worry about their own sovereignty.
Now, they are looking to join NATO, when they have previously been reluctant to do so. Joining NATO also means access to more foreign intelligence. Instead of having to rely only on their own resources, countries know that intelligence will be shared with them if it’s relevant. This gives them more security and allows different countries to focus intelligence operations in different ways, then share what they find as it is needed.
NATO does not directly affect travel. Diplomats traveling on NATO business can get special passports, but they can only use these when performing NATO-related duties.
NATO may affect travel indirectly. Since it deters invasion, especially in Europe, it may make this a safer place for travel.
This safety can increase the amount of tourism, which in turn provides more opportunities for people to invest in tourism in these places.
This can make travel easier, lower prices because of competition, and make for more activities for travelers while they are in these countries.